Title:
CURTAIN PULL AND METHOD OF USE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A removable handle having first and second portions for attachment to a fabric. A first portion is covered in the fabric for attachment and forced through a second portion. The first portion is then reoriented to prevent the fabric from passing back through the second portion retaining the second portion to the fabric.



Inventors:
Sharpe, Gary L. (Naples, FL, US)
Dutro, Brian (Columbus, OH, US)
Application Number:
14/067209
Publication Date:
05/01/2014
Filing Date:
10/30/2013
Assignee:
SHARPE GARY L.
DUTRO BRIAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47H5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORGAN, EMILY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STANDLEY LAW GROUP LLP (6300 Riverside Drive Dublin OH 43017)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for pulling a curtain, comprising: a body portion having a first and second aperture therein, said second aperture being an ellipse having a minor and major radii; and a fastener unit, said fastener unit being an ellipse having a minor and major radii, wherein said minor and major radii of said fastener unit being greater than said minor and major radii of said second aperture.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said body and said fastener unit are constructed from a rigid material.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said body and said fastener unit are capable of being disinfected.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said fastener unit is the remains of creature of said first aperture of said body.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said fastener unit is placed in a first orientation to pass through said second aperture.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said fastener is placed in a second orientation preventing passage of said fastener unit through said second aperture.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a fabric is interposed between said body and said fastener unit.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein said fabric is forced through said second aperture by said fastener unit in said first orientation.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein once said fabric is forced through said second aperture, said fastener unit is placed in the second orientation to affix said body to said fabric.

10. A curtain pull, comprising: a body having a first and second aperture therein, said first aperture being of a larger dimension than said second aperture; and a fastener unit, said fastener unit being complementary to said second aperture and having a larger dimension than said second aperture; wherein said fastener unit passes through said second aperture in a first orientation and does not pass through said second aperture in a second orientation.

11. The curtain pull of claim 10, wherein said second aperture and said fastener unit are ellipse.

12. The curtain pull of claim 10, wherein said body and said fastener unit are rigid and capable of being disinfected.

13. The curtain pull of claim 10, wherein said body is adapted to be removably affixed to a curtain.

14. The curtain pull of claim 13, wherein fabric is interposed between said body and said fastener unit.

15. A method of removably attaching a handle to a web of flexible material, comprising: providing a body having a first and second aperture, said second aperture is an ellipse having a minor and major radii; providing a fastener unit, said fastener unit is an ellipse having a minor and major radii greater that the minor and major radii of said second aperture; placing said body proximate to said web such that said first aperture of said body extends laterally beyond an edge of the web; placing said fastener unit proximate to said web, such that said web is interposed between said fastener unit and said body; pushing the fastener body, and a portion of the interposed web, through said second aperture, said fastener unit being oriented in a first position relative to said body in which said fastener unit fits through the second aperture; and reorienting said fastener unit relative to said body to a second position in which said fastener unit fails to fit through said second aperture, retaining the interposed web portion.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein said first aperture in said body acts as a handle.

17. The method of claim 15, wherein said body and said fastener unit are constructed from a rigid material.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/720188 and incorporates said application as if fully rewritten herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an apparatus for grasping natural and synthetic fabric.

BACKGROUND OF THE ART

The privacy curtains that separate care spaces in hospitals and clinics are frequently contaminated with potentially dangerous bacteria. Hospitals and clinics are becoming increasingly aware that their environments play an important role in the transmission of infections and it is becoming clear that these privacy curtains are important sites of contamination. This is of particular importance as the privacy curtains are frequently touched by patients, providers and visitors.

One problem is that sinks in hospital and clinic rooms are located so that it may be necessary for the health care provider to touch these curtains after having washed their hands. After touching the privacy curtain, the health care provider then proceeds to touch the patient to administer care. Adding to the problem is that the privacy curtains typically remain hanging for extended periods of time and are difficult to disinfect.

Generally, a privacy curtain becomes contaminated with significant bacteria within a week of being hung, and many privacy curtains remain hanging for up to a month between cleanings. Types of bacteria found on privacy curtains include Staphylococcus aures bacteria, including the methicillin-resistant S. aures (MRSA) as well as several species of Enterococci.

Although curtain pulls are available, these devices are typically permanent and suffer from the same contamination problems as the privacy curtains. Most curtain pulls are connected to the frame supporting the privacy curtain and are difficult if not impossible to remove in order to be disinfected. Even if removable, these types of devices are disinfected less frequently then the privacy curtains and are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Being able to effectively maneuver the privacy curtain without the risk of spreading infection in a hospital or clinic setting is an ongoing challenge in the industry. Consequently, there is a need for a removable curtain pull that can be applied to and removed from the privacy curtain easily. In addition, the curtain pull should be easily disinfected and inexpensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, exemplary embodiments of the present invention have been made to remedy the previously mentioned problems. One objective of the exemplary embodiments is to provide a removable handle that can be easily affixed to, and removed from fabric, such as a privacy curtain. When applied to a privacy curtain, the exemplary curtain pull eliminates the need for health care providers to grab or touch the privacy curtain directly. Rather, a user may quickly affix the exemplary curtain pull in order to provide a handle for pulling the privacy curtain.

The exemplary curtain pull also improves cleanliness and prevents cross-contamination. Since the curtain pull is easily removed from the privacy curtain it may be cleaned and disinfected. Accordingly, the spread of germs and bacteria may be reduced.

Exemplary embodiments provides for a curtain pull device. The curtain pull includes a readily attachable and readily removable handle that is used to grasp a fabric, typically a privacy curtain. The exemplary curtain pull has a two piece design. The first piece defines the handle and a second piece is a fastener. The handle includes at least two apertures. One aperture is sized to allow a user to insert their hand and grab the curtain pull. A second aperture is used in conjunction with the fastener to removably affix the curtain pull to the fabric.

The fastener piece is dimensionally designed such that when oriented in a particular way it is capable of passing through an aperture in the handle piece, and upon passing through the aperture may be reoriented in a way that prevents it from passing back through the aperture. During use of the exemplary curtain pull, a user places the handle and the fastener so that the fabric to which it will attach is interposed there between. The fastener is then covered in fabric. Using the fastener piece, the user pushes a portion of the fabric, and the fastener through the aperture of the handle piece. After pushing the fabric covered fastener through the aperture the fastener is reoriented and the fabric is pulled tight to affix the handle to the fabric.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The advantages and other characteristics of the disclosed embodiments will be better understood when attention is directed to the accompanying drawings, wherein identical elements are indentified with identical reference numerals and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary curtain pull device illustrating the handle piece and the fastener piece;

FIG. 2 depicts an exemplary orientation of the fastener piece that allows the fastener piece to pass through an aperture in the handle piece;

FIG. 3 depicts an orientation of the fastener piece that prevents the fastener piece from passing through an aperture in the handle piece;

FIG. 4 is the reverse angle of FIG. 3, further illustrating an orientation of the fastener piece that prevents the fastener piece from passing through an aperture in the handle piece; and

FIGS. 5 through 9 are various views of the FIG. 1 curtain pull illustrating how the curtain pull is removably affixed to fabric, specifically a privacy curtain.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described in greater detail. It should be recognized that the present invention can be practiced in a wide range of other embodiments besides those explicitly described, and the scope of the exemplary embodiments described are expressly not limited.

Directing attention to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a perspective view is provided for an embodiment of a curtain pull 10 that may be removably affixed to a fabric, such as a privacy curtain in a hospital or clinic. As illustrated, the exemplary curtain pull 10 is constructed of two pieces, the first of which is a handle piece 20 and the second of which is a fastener unit 30. In the unassembled condition of FIG. 1, the exemplary pull 10 is ready to be removably affixed to a piece of fabric to act as a pull for the piece of fabric. It is understood to one of skill in the art that these pieces 20, 30 may be manufactured from a variety of different materials that are capable of being disinfected and/or sterilized. One exemplary embodiment provides that both the handle 20 and the fastener unit 30 are made from polystyrene.

The handle has two opposing surfaces 26, 28 separated by a thickness of material. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the handle 20 defines at least two apertures 22, 24 therein. The first aperture 22 has sufficient dimensions to allow a user to grab the handle 20 by passing his or her hand or finger through the first aperture 22. As depicted, the first aperture 22 is elliptical or ovoid and has sufficiently large major and minor radii to allow a human hand to pass though and grab the handle 20. Although it should be noted that in other embodiments the apertures 22, 24 may have any shape, such as rectangular, triangular, or any polygon. The fastener unit 30 may also have a variety of shapes corresponding to the second aperture 24; however, the fastener unit 30 must be able to be placed in a first orientation to pass through the second aperture 24 and then be able to be manipulated into a second orientation to prevent passing back through the second aperture 24.

The second aperture 24 is defined by the handle 20 and works in conjunction with the fastener unit 30 to removably affix the curtain pull 10 to a fabric. The fastener unit 30 has dimensions such that when oriented in a particular manner, it is capable of passing through at least the second aperture 24 in the handle 20. The dimension of the fastener unit 30 is such that upon being passed through the second aperture 24, the fastener unit may be oriented in an alternative manner to prevent being passed back through the second aperture 24.

As seen in FIGS. 1-2, both the fastener unit 30 and the second aperture 24 of an exemplary curtain pull 10 are elliptical or ovoid. In this embodiment, the fastener unit 30 has a major radius and minor radius greater than the respective major and minor radii of the second aperture 24. In embodiments where the first and second apertures 22, 24 and the fastener unit 30 have corresponding shapes, it may be preferred to construct the fastener unit 30 from the resulting material left when the first aperture 22 is cut out of the handle 20. In other embodiments, the fastener unit 30 may be cut from another piece of material.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the fastener unit 30 may be oriented in such a manner so as to allow the fastener unit 30 to pass through the second aperture 24. To secure the curtain pull 10 to an article of fabric, a user holds the handle 20 via the first aperture 22 in one hand and holds the fastener piece 30 in the other. The fabric, to which the curtain pull 10 is to be attached, is interposed between the handle 20 and fastener unit 30. The fastener unit 30 is then oriented in the manner depicted in FIG. 2 in order to push some amount of the fabric through the second aperture 24. Once the fastener unit 30 and some portion of fabric have been passed through the second aperture 24, the fastener unit's 30 orientation is manipulated to prevent the fastener unit 30 and the fabric from passing back through the second aperture 24. To ensure a secure attachment to the fabric, the fabric passed through the second aperture 24 should completely cover the second aperture 24.

FIGS. 3-4 illustrate the orientation of the fastener unit 30 preventing the fastener unit 30 from passing back through the second aperture 24 once the curtain pull 10 has been attached to the fabric 40. As depicted in FIGS. 3-4, an exemplary embodiment provides that orienting the fastener unit 30 such that one of its surfaces is facing either the first or second surface 26, 28 of the handle 20 preventing the fastener unit 30 from passing back through the second aperture 24. It is possible to orient the fastener unit 30 in such a manner because its major and minor radii are larger than the major and minor radii of the second aperture 24.

Once the fabric 40 is threaded through the second aperture 24 by using the fastener unit 30, the fabric remaining on the side of the handle 20 opposing the fastener unit 30 is pulled to draw the fastener unit 30 toward the handle 20. The friction between the fastener unit 30, fabric and handle 20 affixes the pull 10 to the fabric.

FIGS. 5-9 illustrate the application of the exemplary curtain pull 10 to fabric 40. As discussed above, the curtain pull 10 includes a handle 20 and a fastener unit 30. The handle 20 is placed against a fabric 40 for attachment thereto (FIG. 5). As shown in FIG. 6, the fastener unit 30 is oriented to pass through the second aperture 24 along with a portion of the fabric 40. In FIG. 7, as the fastener unit 30 is forced through the second aperture 24, a portion of the fabric 40 surrounding the fastening unit 30 is also passed through the second aperture 24. In FIG. 8, it can be seen that the fastener unit 30 is completely covered by the fabric 40 and is oriented to prevent the fastener unit 30 from passing back through the second aperture 24. To secure the exemplary pull 10 to the fabric 40, the fabric 40 may be pulled tight forcing the fastener unit 30 and the handle into close proximity. After the pull 10 has been removably fixed to the fabric 40, a user may use the pull 10 to manipulate the fabric 40 as shown in FIG. 9.

To remove the pull 10 from the fabric 40 for cleaning, simply reverse the process. The fastener unit 30 is pulled away from the handle 20 forcing more fabric 40 through the second aperture 24. The fastener unit 30 is pulled far enough away from the handle 20 to allow the fastener unit 30 to be placed in an orientation to pass back through the second aperture 24. Once the fastener unit 30 is passed through the second aperture, the fabric 40 may also be pulled back through the second aperture 24 removing the pull 10 from the fabric 40.

While the embodiments disclosed described the best modes known to the inventor at the time of filing, the scope of the invention is not to be limited to only the embodiments disclosed herein.





 
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